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Natural gas is essential for Europe’s energy mix

May 10, 2011, 11:34 CEST

“Only together we can ensure that gas receives the attention and the role it deserves, being a secure, cost efficient and relatively clean source of energy,” said Rune Bjørnson, Statoil’s senior vice president for Natural gas at the Flame gas conference in Amsterdam today, where over 650 industry delegates attend.

By increasing the share of natural gas in the European energy mix, being the cleanest fossil fuel, Europe will be well position towards reaching its 2050 climate goal.

Replacing existing coal power plants with new gas power plants can reduce CO2-emissions by up to 70%.

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Rune Bjørnson,  Statoil’s senior vice president for Natural gas

Statoil is currently running a gas marketing campaign in Europe, profiling natural gas as a fuel for the future.

“I am convinced that a combination of natural gas, renewable energy such as offshore wind, and in the long term carbon capture and storage, will allow Europe to meet its environmental targets in an efficient and affordable way,” said Bjørnson.

Referring to EU’s 2050 process and the tragic nuclear events in Japan, Statoil’s head of natural gas business asserted that 2011 may be a critical year for the future composition of energy use in Europe.

“In that context my main message to the politicians is that they should start trusting the carbon market that they have invested so much prestige and efforts in, and therefore let the market pick the winning fuels in reaching the 2050 ambition,“ said Bjørnson adding:

“Further, we as an industry – both customers and gas producers - must pull together to achieve a clear and coherent regulatory framework, securing a levelled playing field between all the energy carriers.”